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How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden

Learning how to attract hummingbirds to your garden is a surefire way to transform your outdoor space into a happy backyard haven full of vibrant life. In this guide, we'll explore everything you need to create a hummingbird garden paradise from spring through fall, including our experts' top tips on selecting the best feeders, flowers, and bird baths, ensuring your garden becomes your neighborhood's hummingbird hub!

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Feeder Frenzy: Your Hummingbird Feeder Selection Guide

Choosing the right feeder is crucial for attracting hummingbirds to your garden. Hummingbirds are particularly drawn to anything red, so selecting a red feeder is a great start! The selection process doesn't end there, however, as there are several types of feeders you'll want to consider before making your decision:

  • Saucer Feeders: Saucer feeders are easy to clean and refill thanks to their wide-mouth opening, which also makes them less prone to mold.

  • Vacuum Feeders: Vacuum feeders typically come with a glass or plastic bottle that dispenses nectar through feeding ports. They hold more nectar than saucer feeders, making them ideal for busy gardens hosting multiple hummingbird visitors! 

For the best results, proper placement of your feeders is crucial. Hang your feeders in a visible area—preferably near flowering plants—to catch the birds' attention, hanging them at varying heights to accommodate different feeding preferences. Remember: hummingbirds are territorial, so having more than one feeder spaced throughout your yard will increase your chances of attracting more birds to your garden. 

Maintaining clean feeders is also essential for the health of your hummingbird visitors. Dirty feeders are breeding grounds for mold and bacteria, which can be extremely harmful to these tiny birds. We recommend cleaning your feeders at least once a week, upping the frequency in hot weather. Use a solution of four parts water to one part white vinegar or mild dish soap and rinse thoroughly to ensure no residue is left behind. To refill, dissolve white sugar in water using a 1:4 ratio. Never use anything except white sugar, as this is the closest substitute to nectar we can safely provide hummingbirds; artificial sweeteners and brown sugar are not considered safe for feeding purposes. 

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Best Flowers to Attract Hummingbirds: Planting a Feast for the Eyes (and Beaks!)

Hummingbirds are naturally attracted to bright, tubular flowers that produce lots of nectar. So, when planning your Allentown hummingbird garden, include a wide array of these plants, preferably opting for selections that bloom at different times throughout the growing season to provide a continuous food source. Native flowers are especially great at providing our flitting friends with exactly what they need. Here are few of our favorite native blooms for the Lehigh Valley: 

  • Bee Balm: With its vibrant red, pink, and purple blooms, bee balm is a magnet for hummingbirds.

  • Cardinal Flower: This stunning red flower thrives in wet conditions, making it perfect for those damp spots in your garden.

  • Trumpet Vine: This vigorous climber produces an abundance of tubular orange flowers filled with nectar.

In addition to native plants, we love incorporating some of these non-native flowers to enhance our gardens' hummingbird appeal:

  • Fuchsia: Known for its hanging, teardrop flowers in vibrant shades of pink, purple, and red, fuchsia is a favorite among hummingbirds.

  • Salvia: Also known as Anise Sage, salvia has striking tall spikes of blue flowers that hummingbirds adore.

  • Petunia: With a wide range of colors, petunias are easy to grow, provide nectar, and produce ample blooms all summer

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  • Foxgloves: Foxgloves produce tall spikes of tubular flowers in various colors that are particularly attractive to hummingbirds.

Plant all these flowers in clusters to create concentrated nectar sources, making it easier for hummingbirds and other pollinators to find food. Additionally, incorporating a mix of annuals and perennials into your garden ensures it remains attractive to hummingbirds year after year. 

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Keeping Hummingbirds Hydrated: How to Give Your Hummers a Spa Day

While hummingbirds get most of their hydration from nectar, they also need water for bathing, so providing a water source for them is a surefire way to make your garden even more inviting! Birdbaths are a great option, but they need to be shallow, as hummingbirds prefer to bathe in shallow water. Look for birdbaths with a depth of no more than an inch.

Another excellent option is a mister, which creates a fine mist of water that hummingbirds love to fly through. We recommend placing misters near flowers or feeders to attract hummingbirds. If you're lucky, you might also catch them splashing on large foliage after a rainfall!

Learning how to attract hummingbirds to your garden brings a unique joy and vibrancy to your outdoor space. By setting up the right feeders, planting a variety of nectar-rich flowers, and providing clean water sources, you can create a haven for these delightful birds from spring to fall. For more tips, tricks, and supplies to help you set up your Allentown hummingbird garden, stop by the garden center and chat with one of our experts today! 


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